You are not alone: Unraveling the cliché.

By: Andy Choi
Manager - Corporate Communications

On today's Up To Speed, we are highlighting suicide prevention and mental health stories and resources.

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On today’s Up To Speed, Andy reminds us that September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month. With this year being filled with so many surprises and challenges, mental health is top of mind. Here are some resources and stories that may be of some help to you or someone you love.

Employee Assistance Program

For all of our V Teamers, our Employee Assistance Program is available and allows for you to take part in five free online sessions with a counselor. You can also check out helpful articles, videos and additional resources through the Verizon Resilience Toolkit.

The number to call

Earlier this year, we covered the news that the FCC designated 988 as the new nationwide number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 2022. In the meantime, please continue to share 1-800-273-TALK (8255) with anyone wishing to connect to the Lifeline.

In April, Verizon Media announced that we would donate $10 million in advertising to support mental and public health response efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic. Verizon Media also launched Yahoo Life, a website focused on mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

Christine Henderson

You may not often see Christine’s face on Up To Speed, but she is a valued contributor to the team. Today, she shares the story of when, at age 13, her mother died by suicide. In the years that followed, she decided she did not want to let her mother’s death define her and looked for a way to help others. In high school, she started working with the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide and visited local schools to fulfill the two-hour requirement of suicide prevention training for all New Jersey educators. She urges all of us to connect and check in with others around us as we never know what burdens others may bear.

Monica Pate

In the early days of the pandemic, Monica Pate, Director of Retail Sales in Chandler, AZ, was dealt a crushing blow when she learned of her father’s suicide. Rather than dwell in the darkness that the event brought on, she made a goal to honor his memory by helping others to keep smiling. As she invited her colleagues to events that offered physical exercise, community spirit and emotional support for those going through difficult times, her accompanying hashtag #SunshineClub took on a life of its own and spread throughout the V Team family via social media.

Monica and Christine, thank you both for sharing your personal stories with such strength and grace.

Mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

We were fortunate enough to speak with Maureen Underwood, a licensed clinical social worker and a nationally recognized expert on youth suicide prevention. While the COVID-19 pandemic has increased rates of anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation, Maureen points to the potential upside: A focus on the importance of public health, which is often a first step towards suicide prevention and treatment.

Cycle Around the Globe

As in years past, many V Teamers are participating in Cycle Around the Globe as part of World Suicide Prevention Day. For those who want to join, you can take part until the last day of September. All you need to do is track your miles and log your contribution on VZWeb.

Now, as we’ve been saying on Up To Speed, please continue to reach out to your loved ones and colleagues. Andy’s challenge to all of us: Who are you going to reach out to right now?

Additional Resources

World Suicide Prevention Day

If you have any questions, email them to

Click here for a transcript of the webcast.

Get the latest information on our Coronavirus Resource Page (Inside Verizon, The Street).

Reminder, tune in to Up To Speed Live tomorrow at 12 PM ET/9 AM PT.

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